Meet Burnley, an international motivational speaker, Life Coach, Chaplain Ambassador-at- Large to the UN (a licensed Chaplain to an accredited organization to the United Nations, Word Of Life Christian Fellowship, an Non-Governmental Organization with in Special Consultative Status in the Economic and Social Council to the UN , New York State Minister License Certified Biblical Entrepreneur, and a Fashion Designer. With many awards under her belt for humanitarian work, Bokwey was conferred the award of “Iconic Women in Breast Cancer care,” ALL LADIES LEAGUE at the Women Economic Forum 2016, Delhi.
With some of her work involving organizing fashion shows for raising funds and awareness about serious problems like breast cancer, human trafficking and sickle cell, child soldiers and their rehabilitation, Bokwey who is a compassionate advocate for using fashion as an awareness and self esteem instrument, talks to Think Geek Media on `Fashion as a medium for creating Empowerment.’
Fashion as a tool for empowerment
Fashion is a great tool for empowerment, especially financial empowerment. The fashion industry is among the largest sources of employment in many countries. The fashion industry is also one of those industries which is very hospitable to start-ups, giving many people opportunities to become financially independent.
Fashion as a political statement
Fashion can easily and successfully used as a tool for political statements. For example, before I became an American Citizen, I had represented Cameroon, my country of origin, thrice at International Trade shows. Once for tourism, and twice at apparel and textile shows. In all the above cases, my skills as a fashion designer/exhibitionist, was used as a vehicle by the government to portray Cameroon as a friendly and prosperous nation.
Fashion as an instrument to change lives
I have used and will continue to use fashion as an instrument to change lives. My personal mantra is this “Let your fashion do more than just make you look good.” I have used fashion shows to raise funds and awareness on serious evils like breast cancer, human trafficking and  sickle cell. These type of endeavours have been the most rewarding for me and for others who were involved.
Fashion enforcing a stereotype in the way women perceive themselves
The fashion Industry is very strong at enforcing stereotypes in the way women perceive themselves, as well as in the way society perceives women. For decades the fashion industry, in collaboration with Hollywood, have enforced stereotypes of standards for beauty. Their motives have not always been clear but the impact of their acceptable stereotypes have. Most often leaving a lot of women and girls, confused, insecure, frustrated, sad and very concerned.
For example  Fashion Icon, Marilyn Monroe’s size was in the double digits, Size 12, I believe. She was considered the most beautiful woman alive. Now most models are sizes 0 or 1, and even Hollywood stars are aspiring to be those same sizes. Media calls them “Hot”. Girls and women are becoming anorexic, depressed, starved and in extreme cases, dead, just because they want to be size 0 -1 to feel beautiful and/or to be considered beautiful.
The only way to be liberated from the stereotypes the fashion industry has enforced, is to develop your own fashion style. By this I mean consider carefully  your figure, personality, complexion, budget and lifestyle when you dress or shop. These considerations will help you make good choices out of what is in fashion. The habit of always using those considerations will form your personal style. What works for you, not dictated by brands.
You could also enlist the help of a fashion consultant, and or use the many free enlightening advice articles on
fashion DO’s and DO NOT’s online.